I Was Terrified Of Tampons

tampon, menstruation, period, pad

Oh…you again. I can hardly wait. |Source: Shutterstock

The first time I used a tampon was right after we saw that movie in elementary school, you know, the one that teaches you about getting your period. I hadn’t actually gotten my period, but I was curious, so I sneaked one of my mom’s tampons out of her cabinet. I also had no idea how they worked, so I unwrapped it and arbitrarily stuck it into my vagina, cardboard applicator and all. It stuck out a couple inches and was way uncomfortable–like having a paper towel roll up your lady bits. I pulled up my pants and stayed that way for maybe ten minutes, until, convinced that tampons were weird and horrible, I wrapped it in a lot of tissues and trashed it. I was NEVER going to use those things again!

I stuck with pads until college, when my period showed up a couple days early. Oops! I was unprepared, with no choice but to buy a tampon out of the machine in the restroom. I sat in the stall for a few minutes before I could even try to insert the thing. I did better this time: at least it was in the right way, but I hated the way it felt–like some alien appendage up in me–and I switched it out for a pad as soon as I got home.

My friends swore by tampons, saying they were super convenient and even comfortable, but I just couldn’t see (or feel) it. I’d only used tampons a few other times: another period emergency, on a morning kayaking jaunt, and when I was in a costume where even a thin pad wouldn’t do. And, um, NONE of those were pleasant occasions. The thought of women walking all around the city wearing them and smiling (smiling!) was so freaking confusing to me.

…until a few days ago. It’s summer, it’s hot, and when you’re sweaty, pads bunch up, which make them even more unpleasant. I was tired of the mess and the idea of even one more pad in 100-degree heat…well, I thought it was time to try tampons again.

More unhappiness from my vagina. I put the tampon in, but it was like I’d also shoved some air up there too, and my pelvis felt bloated (a symptom I generally don’t get on my period). It hurt. I was not happy. A couple more tampons, same problem. But I wasn’t about to let the evil tampon win this time. I knew there had to be a way to make it work, so I searched online for advice, which was mostly: try another angle. So I did, and! No more bloaty feeling! No pain! Convenience! No pad messiness! It was like a new world opened up.

tampon, pad, period, menstruation

Me n tampons – we’re cool now. | Source: Shutterstock

I’m still a novice: so far, I’ve managed to leave a piece of applicator attached to the tampon after inserting it and didn’t notice for hours, failed on a few applicators altogether, and I’m not used to how my flow works with them yet, so I’m paranoid I’ll leak. I went shopping because I ran out, and found myself staring dumbfounded at the boxes and boxes of tampons for five minutes. What absorbency? Which applicator, or what about no applicator for the environment’s sake? Do some kinds REALLY expand more than others, and do I need that? Should I just choose by price? Why do the brands end in X? (Think about it, they really do!) Of course, once I finally picked a box and took it home, I realized I’d bought scented tampons, which I definitely didn’t want, and now I need to exchange them.

I need more practice, but I really do think I can get the hang of this thing called a tampon string.

Have you ever been scared to use tampons? What do you use for your period? Tell me in the comments!

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Posted in: Body & Health, Your Body
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  • greeneyes

    I’m so scared to use them, but I really need to start using them because as a future vet tech, pad butt isn’t going to look good in scrubs. & neither will pad butt look good when I start working out in the gym and I’m at a month where I can actually muster up the strength to get off the sofa and workout. tried one time and failed to get it in, I guess that was because of paranoia and never being told how to use them… my mother is strictly against them… my poor boyfriend has to hear all my period stories and I guess the poor man is going to know wayyyyy to much about a woman’s body than what most men want to know… oh well haha. Any ways, what are the best brands to get? Why is it so hard to fathom inserting a tampon? It’s smaller than a penis and should hurt less, right?

  • Nicole

    I’m almost 20, and I only started using tampons this period. I’ve had my period for 7 years now (obviously not all the time :P), and I’ve tried tampons regularly, but I’ve always hated them. The thing is though: I live in Norway where tampons without an applicator is the norm. I was abroad, and I saw Tampax Pearl sitting there on the shelf. I got them, and now I’m totally a tampon-girl. I just love not having to use pads, or that runny feeling. I put in a Tampax Pearl, and the only way I’m reminded I have my period is that I have cramps. It’s a totally different life not having to deal with pads, and I LOVE it. Never going back <3

  • wondering

    I always heard horrible stories or Myths about tampons, such as the string breaking or rushing it to far and it becoming stuck so up until a few month ago when I changed jobs I used pads, I have been using tampons a few months now and I still worry about that. Could this happen? For example I worked 3rd shift last night and was very tired when I got home I am almost off my period so I haven’t been to concerned about leaks or anything, I just woke up go to use bathroom and was gonna change it but didn’t find a string, Idk if I put one in when I got home I was so tired and ready to get some sleep I remember removing one but nothing else. HELP

  • Alex

    It’s ok to be afraid but you must realize that you are in control, you can beat the uncomfortable feeling for less than 30 seconds. Pretend that you are the nurse and that your body is te patient. Repet to yourself to breathe and relax your body, this method really works!! If you get nervous just breathe and relax your muscles. YOU ARE IN CONTROL!

  • Ramsay

    Im 18 and Ive tried various times to use tampons but couls never quite get them all the way up me. For the most part, especially at first I couldnt find the hole, so embaressing I still barely know my body, and next I couldnt get the right angle in, I think I kind of hand it in once years ago bit I didnt push it up far enough. And recently on my last period I tried again, and surprizingly I could find myself easiar and I couls work on fitting the tampon it, it was painful and actually it felt a little good too (I tried “relaxing” myself a bit to help) but evem them I could only get it half way up, despite the pain I just felt like I couldnt push it up any further, I just wish someone could shove it up there for me I feel like its the most embaressing feeling in the world or like I dont even know my own body.